July 19 Montana News Briefs

Friday, July 19, 2019

Grizzly killed after multiple break-ins searching for food

MISSOULA (AP) — Montana wildlife managers say they have killed a grizzly bear in northwestern Montana that repeatedly broke into trailers, garages and sheds in search of food. Officials said the male bear had been captured last fall north of Stevensville and relocated after causing damage over the course of several weeks to the Whitetail Golf Course. In the spring, the animal traveled to the Seeley Lake area and got into a garbage trailer. It later broke into multiple structures searching for grain, garbage and other food. Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said the bear was captured again and euthanized Thursday. Agency bear specialist Jamie Jonkel says grizzlies quickly get accustomed to seeking out food or garbage that’s been left uncontained. She says it’s a recurring problem in areas with bears.

Man found dead in northwestern Montana home identified

KALISPELL (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man who was found dead in a home in northwestern Montana. The Flathead Beacon reports 67-year-old Paul Kellenberger’s body was discovered in his Kalispell home on Monday afternoon, and the death is being investigated as a possible homicide. Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino has said Kellenberger was assaulted, but his office has not released any other details about the circumstances of the death. Kellenberger’s body has been taken to the Montana State Crime Lab for an autopsy. A man who was arrested shortly after the discovery is being held at the county jail on an unrelated charge. His name has not been released.

Montana officials scale back search for man missing in park

KALISPELL (AP) — Officials at Glacier National Park have scaled back the search for a missing man. The Daily Inter Lake reports that 66-year-old Mark Sinclair was last seen by Logan Pass Visitor Center staff July 8. Officials say Sinclair is still considered a missing person but the search effort has been downgraded to a “limited continuous mode.” Officials say active searching will not occur every day in the northwest Montana park, but patrols will continue looking in a reduced capacity. Officials say the search began July 9 for the man whose last known address was in Whitefish. Sinclair was seen in a parking lot heading toward the Highline Trail after leaving behind his dog, unsecured vehicle and car keys. The park will continue investigating in hopes of gathering information about Sinclair’s whereabouts.

Montana man who shot exchange student asks for new trial

MISSOULA (AP) — A Montana man who was convicted of shooting a German exchange student to death in 2014 is seeking a new trial. The Missoulian reports that Markus Kaarma’s new attorneys argued Thursday in district court that the lawyers in his 2015 trial for the killing of 17-year-old Diren Dede provided him with ineffective assistance. Dede had apparently gone into Kaarma’s garage in Missoula to steal beer. Kaarma had argued the shooting was in selfdefense. Prosecutors said Kaarma and his girlfriend were trying to lure a burglar by leaving the garage door open after being burglarized twice before. The Montana Supreme Court previously upheld Kaarma’s conviction and 70-year sentence, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his case. Kaarma is now asking for a new trial through a petition for post-conviction relief.

Montana court orders demolition of code-violating bridge

KALISPELL (AP) — A Montana Supreme Court ruling orders the demolition of a bridge connecting to private land on Flathead Lake’s north shore. The Daily Inter Lake reported Wednesday that the state Supreme Court earlier this month found Flathead County officials issued an invalid construction permit for the 519-foot (158-meter) bridge near Bigfork. Records say it was built by Jolene Dugan and her father because high water levels often turned their property into an island. The Community Association for North Shore Conservation has fought against the bridge, claiming it obstructed the lake’s scenic qualities. A district court judge ruled in 2016 the county violated a law prohibiting roads in the lakeshore protection zone unless they serve boat ramps. Dugan’s attorney did not respond to calls for comment.